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British soccer’s governing body charges Crystal Palace player over Nazi salute

Football Association says goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey brought game into disrepute with improper conduct; player denies he was deliberately making offensive gesture

Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey celebrates after the Euro 2016 Group B soccer match between Russia and Wales at the Stadium municipal in Toulouse, France, Monday, June 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey celebrates after the Euro 2016 Group B soccer match between Russia and Wales at the Stadium municipal in Toulouse, France, Monday, June 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

The English Football Association on Wednesday charged Crystal Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey with improper conduct after he appeared to perform a Nazi salute in a photograph posted online by German teammate Max Meyer.

The FA alleged the gesture was “abusive and/or insulting and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute.”

The governing body added that it was an aggravated breach of its rules because it included a “reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion and/or belief.”

If found guilty, Hennessey could face a five-match ban.

A screenshot of an image posted to Instagram and then deleted by Max Meyer that appears to show Crystal Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey (back left) making a Nazi salute. He denies doing so. (Screenshot/Instagram)

Hennessey was near the back of the table during a team dinner in an image posted earlier this month by Meyer on an Instagram story, which disappears after 24 hours.

Hennessey denied performing a Nazi salute, saying he “waved and shouted at the person taking the picture to get on with it and at the same time put my hand over my mouth to make the sound carry.”

The Wales intentional added: “It’s been brought to my attention that frozen in a moment by the camera this looks like I am making a completely inappropriate type of salute.”

“I can assure everyone I would never ever do that and any resemblance to that kind of gesture is absolutely coincidental,” he said.

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